Kornilia Papanastasiou, Researcher, NKUA:
“Science, Technology, Biomedicalization, Migration:
Gender approaches”
26. 2.2020

Ms. Papanastasiou approached migration by the feminist point of view, acknowledging as crucial to understand how gender interacts with migration. The first part of her presentation listed various migration data, concerning migration and sex: from the number of women that decide to move from their country to the conditions, risks and vulnerabilities they face during their journey. Furthermore, having established the difference between sex and gender, she brought up the fact that someone’s gender, gender identity and sexual orientation shapes every stage of the migration experience. She pointed out that gender, especially, determines who migrates to where and through which networks, establishes certain relations with the country of origin and influences reasons for migrating. A separate part of her lecture concerned the opportunities and capacities migrants could confront in the welcoming countries, taking into consideration forms of human trafficking, modern slavery and forced labour.

In the second part of her presentation, Papanastasiou identified the similarities between the migrating practices and the biomedicalization of the female body through reproductive processes, such as IVF. She, mainly, focused on how these materialities not only promote trade-offs between the male and the female, but they also generate new forms of subjects, ones that could be presented as “cyborgs”. The last part of the lecture, along with the discussion, dealt with issues such as the ways in which these experimental processes turn women’s bodies into living laboratories, the feminist approach as an analytic category and the ethical and sexist implications.

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